Dans le bureau de Joe Biden, ce syndicaliste d'Amazon n'est pas passé inaperçu

Dans le bureau de Joe Biden, ce syndicaliste d’Amazon n’est pas passé inaperçu

“Today I met with local labor organizers to thank them for their leadership in organizing unions. From the Amazon Labor Union to IATSE to Titmouse Productions, these folks are inspiring a movement of workers across the country to fight for the pay and benefits they deserve,” Trump tweeted.

A signal”

And this meeting did not go unnoticed, with some referring to a “strong signal sent to the American trade union world”.

“This pro-labor pro-union wave that has swept the nation is due to years of organizing led by people like Smalls. I am so happy to see the Biden administration officially recognize these efforts. Here’s hoping meetings like these mean more worker protections are on the horizon.”

Smalls’ revenge on Amazon

Christian Smalls created a surprise in early April by becoming Amazon’s first union in the United States. Aged 33 and unemployed, he worked in the JFK8 warehouse until March 2020. With the appearance of the Covid-19 epidemic, faced with a still little known and devastating virus, he rose up against the lacks protections and calls for a mini-strike. The protest does not gather crowds but attracts attention, at least at Amazon. He will be fired two days later, officially for not having respected the health rules.

According to an internal memo that leaked to the press shortly afterwards, a senior company official said of him that he “is not intelligent, does not know how to express himself clearly” and that he should be made “the face of the entire trade union movement”.

“That’s what I became,” he told AFP two years later. In the meantime, he demonstrated outside several residences of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to defend the rights of essential workers. He also went in the spring of 2021 to support activists trying to form a union at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama.

A “spark” for a new movement?

With his style of rapper, this African-American “does not look like a traditional union leader”, recognizes Justine Medina, member of ALU. But “he is brilliant, he knows how to inspire people, assign the tasks that correspond to everyone, bring people together,” she says. And all the media attention “doesn’t go to his head, he remains down-to-earth”, she assures.

Starbucks, Apple, Alphabet are also facing unionization plans. Christian Smalls hopes that ALU “will be the spark that will trigger a whole movement at Amazon”.

See also on The HuffPost: At the press gala in Washington, some jokes between Biden and Trevor Noah, and a lot of Russia

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